Bill McFarland is stepping into the role of news director at WFTS, the ABC affiliate in Tampa Bay.
McFarland comes from WABC, the ABC O&O in New York City, where he is the assistant news director. He replaces Doug Culver, who left WFTS for WJLA in June.
“Bill brings over 20-years of successful news management experience in large market television newsrooms,” WFTS general manager Rich Pegram said in a statement. “I am confident that his commitment to quality journalism and his leadership abilities will help ABC Action News continue our remarkable ratings momentum of the past year.”
McFarland said he is “looking forward to joining the news team at one of the best stations in America.”
WABC recently named Camille Edwards news director.
>Update: Here’s general manager Dave Davis’ note to WABC staffers from this afternoon:
I want to share some news about Bill McFarland. He has accepted the position of News Director at WFTS-TV, the ABC affiliate and Scripps owned station in Tampa, Florida.
Bill has been our Assistant News Director since January of 2003, coming from WJLA in Washington, D.C. He started with our company in 1991 on the assignment desk at WPVI, our station in Philadelphia.
He has helped lead Eyewitness News through countless big stories, and was an essential steady hand at the helm this summer. He has always been the go-to guy in the newsroom for other departments during major station projects, and I will always appreciate his contributions to our success.
Bill plans to start work in Tampa in October. In the meantime he will work out his final schedule here with Camille.
Please join me in wishing Bill the very best.